What makes us different is our approach to luxury fashion; like Madame Coco Chanel, we believe that luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it’s not a luxury. Isy B.
What is there not to like about the Cayman Islands? From being named the friendliest country by Forbes, to first class amenities not forgetting that laid back Caribbean charm coupled with long stretches of spectacular beaches, it is of no wonder that this island is not only home to some of the world’s best diving sites, but is a source of inspiration for some of Caribbean’s best emerging designers.
Inspired by the natural beauty and the vibrancy of the Cayman Islands, Phoenix Fashion Week emerging designer Isy Obi is the founder behind the luxury fashion brand that fuses technology and fashion to create gorgeous collections that are comfortable in warmer climates. With clothes specifically designed to keep you feeling and looking beautiful in a hot and humid environment, Isy B. has created a new category of beautiful womenswear by integrating the latest developments in technical fabrics into her designs.
Island Chronicles: To what extent has the Cayman Islands influenced your creations?
Isy B: I’m lucky to live on an island as beautiful as Grand Cayman which has provided much of my inspiration. From the people, to the flora, to the sea, much of my inspiration has come from Cayman. Cayman is a very cosmopolitan island and manages to integrate the diverse cultures of its inhabitants who come from around the world. We live the modern Caribbean lifestyle here and I find that endlessly fascinating.
Island Chronicles: What type of woman does Isy B. design for?
Isy B.: The Isy B. woman is feminine, confident, cultured and eternally curious. Her style is elegantly modern and confidently understated. She is blessed with an independent spirit, comfortable with who she is and enjoys living life on her own terms.
Island Chronicles: What has been the label’s highlights and how did the collaboration with Sand Angels come about?
Isy B.: We’ve had so many highlights since our inception in 2015 and it’s been a whirlwind of activity for us here in Cayman and internationally. We launched at Cayman Fashion Week in 2015, and presented our collection with London Catwalk Society during London Fashion Week last fall. Our brand was showcased on the Macys website as part of our collaboration with Nineteenth Amendment, and most recently we collaborated with Sand Angels, Cayman’s premier resortwear boutique on a sold out charity runway event as part of our launch for sale at the store.
Sand Angels is my favourite store in Cayman, and owner Catherine Dawson Jones, a London College of Fashion graduate who worked with major luxury UK brands, has been incredibly supportive in bringing her experience my journey. The exclusive red carpet event at Sand Angels featured many of Cayman’s international and local catwalk stars strutting the runway in the Isy B. Resort 17 collection to raise funds for a local children’s charity. I hope to continue to make a positive contribution in the community through the Isy B. brand.
Island Chronicles: Who would you like to see wear your designs?
Isy B.: I look forward to dressing Grace Gealey, the inspiring Caymanian star of the multiple award winning US TV show “Empire” one day soon. I was lucky to meet her when she hosted Cayman Fashion Week alongside TV star Nigel Barker, and she was wonderfully positive about the brand and encouraged me to reach for the sky where my dreams are concerned as she has done.
Island Chronicles: What’s next for Isy B.?
Isy B.: We’ve recently been selected as a finalist for the Emerging Designer of the Year at the Phoenix Fashion Week 2016 and I am thrilled to be the first ever Caribbean brand to be chosen. Phoenix Fashion Week is the leading fashion industry event in the Southwest, with over 6,000 fans attending the 3-day event. Its goal is to bridge buyers and designers and showcase the hottest and most innovative design talent from around the world. Designers on the runway include Rocky Gathercole (Designer to Gwen Stefani) and Yas Couture (Designer to Paris Hilton)
The competition is tough, Isy B. was selected from over 300 designers from around the world to be one of the 12 finalists to face a series of design and business challenges over 4 months. I hope to win and bring the title of Emerging Designer of the Year home to the Caribbean at the final runway show in Phoenix this October. We’ve also been invited to showcase at the Allure Fashion Weekend in Cayman this November. This is Cayman’s premier luxury fashion event and I’m looking forward to it.